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John Page Woodbury 




C. J. H. WOODBURY, A. M., Sc. D. 




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John Page Woodbury was born in Atkinson, N. H., 
^y 24, 1827, and died at his residence 348 Common- 
ealth Avenue, Boston, Mass., June 17, 1910. He was 
1 ie only son of Rev. John and Myra Page Woodbury, and 
,- direct descendant of John Woodbury, the Old Planter. 
John P. Woodbury was educated in the common 
schools and the Hancock, N. H., Literary and Scientific 
institution after which he became connected with the 
Keene, N. H., Sentinel where he also learned the printing- 
business and later went to Bangor, Me., where three years 
were spent in learning the carpenter's trade, after which he 
came to Lynn and worked in the cabinet shop and furniture 
store of his uncle Seth Dodge Woodbury which occupied 
for many years the site of the station of the Boston, Revere 
Beach & Lynn Railroad on Market Street. 

In 1849, he entered the service of his uncle Joseph 

3 age Woodbury of East Boston, the inventor of the pres- 

! ure bar for rendering wood planing machines practical 

• all varieties of lumber. In this position, he traveled to 

*ious places, as far west as St. Louis and was for six 

jnths in Washington in connection with some extensions 

patents during the year 1850, where he heard famous 

cussions by the contending leaders of the North and 

uth which preceded the Civil War. 


Returning to Lynn he became the partner of his 
. jle Jeptha Porter Woodbury in the lumber wharf and 
rpenter shop at the foot of Commercial Street, on the 
e now occupied by the Hoag and Walden Shoe fac- 
t< ies. In this shop many novelties in carpentering had 
. n introduced by his uncle, it was one of the earlier car- 
enter shops to use a steam engine, it was the first to use 
t Woodworth wood-planing machine, and in place of 
;onfining the work to those who had served apprentice- 
ships, in learning the carpenter's trade, subdivided labor 
as believed to have been first developed here by men who 
ere trained in the skillful use of the various wood-working 

In 1854 tne mTn was dissolved, the senior partner 

jtiring from active business and John P. Woodbury es- 

iblished a real estate and insurance office, the first in the 

ty, and which had become the largest in the state out- 

ide of Boston at the time of his retirement in 1867 and 

hich has been continued to this date by his successors. 

.Iter this he did not engage in active business except to 

Did the Presidency of the Exchange Insurance Company 

>r about eighteen months. 

Immediately after his retirement, he lived in Paris 

r nearly a year and later in life resided in Boston during 

the winter and in Lynn during the summer, except so far 

as this arrangement was modified by travel, of which he 

was very fond. His most recreative pursuit was fishing in 

the Maine forest, which he continued to the last. At the 

;e of eighty years he made an extensive trip to Europe. 

iJe did not hold any public office except membership in 

the Common Coiinc' 1 , but was organizer and treasurer of 

several corporations owning buildings and developing real 

state in the busines portion of Lynn. He was the orig- 


inator of Central Avenue as an essential route for travel 
from Central Station to the end of the Common, and in 
order to make this possible, purchased the principal part 
of the land along this route and the same may be said of 
the extension of Munroe Street from Washington Street to 
Central Avenue. 

He was affiliated with the Second Congregational 
v Unitarian) Church and was for many years one of the 
Board of Trustees. He was a charter member and Vice- 
President of the Lynn Historical Society, and a member of 
the Lynn Hospital Corporation, the Boston Art Club, 
Club of Odd Volumes, Iconographic Society, New England 
Historic Genealogical Society, Bostonian Society, Essex 
Institute and the Old Planters Society of Salem, Grolier 
Club and Iconophile Society of New York, Rowfant Club 
of Cleveland and the Caxton Club of Chicago. 

lie was married September 22, 1850, to Sarah Eliza- 
)eth Silsbee who was born in Nahant, the daughter of 
rsdthan Silsbee and descendant of one of the earliest 
settlers of Lynn. She was born September 22, 1828, and 
died in Boston, January 1, 1904. He is survived by two 
children Mrs. Marcia E. Parsons and John Woodburv, 
Counsellor-at-law, and Secretary of the Metropolitan Park 

The forty-three years of his life after retirement from 
active business were devoted to the exercise of his taste in 
books. He had one of the choicest private libraries in 
Boston and a large collection of prints, book plates and 
other forms of engraving and was recognized as an 

on © 

authority upon all matters pertaining to rare books. 
His genealogv is as follows : — 

john page woodbury 5 

Genealogy of John Page Woodbury 
I. John Woodbury was born in Somersetshire, England, 
about 1579, and embarked from Weymouth, England, as 
one of the leaders of the Dorchester Company which 
arrived at Stage Fort, now Gloucester, Mass., in February 
or March, 1623-24. The site of this colony is marked by a 
bronze memorial tablet, said to be the largest in this coun- 
try, on one of the ledges in the park at the westerly side of 
the entrance to Gloucester Harbor. About 1626, this colony 
moved to Nahumkeik, now Salem, Mass. 

His first wife was Joanna Humphrey whom he mar- 
ried at Burlescombe, England, June 21, 1596, by whom he 
had a son, Humphrey, who came to Salem in 1628. The 
place and date of her birth are unknown, but believed to 
be at Budleigh, England, where the records of that period 
have been so impaired by mildew as to be illegible. John 
Woodbury married, second, Agnes (or Anis) Derby, widow 
of John Derby, before August, 1629, at which date her 
name appears among the original members of the church 
organized at Salem, where she died February 14, 1672. 

After the arrival of John Endicott as the head of the 
Colony of Massachusetts Bay with an interfering charter 
and a large number, there was a conflict of authority, 
known as "ye jarre," which resulted in the continuation of 
Endicott as Governor, and the leaders of the Dorchester 
Company as a Council, and the signature of John Wood- 
bury follows that of Endicott in subsequent official docu- 
ments. John Woodbury continued to be prominent in 
official life until his death in 1641. In September, 1627, 
he. sailed in an armed fishing vessel from the Isles of 
Shoals, as the first envoy from this country, and he returned 
from England in June, 1628, the favorable result of hi.s 
labors being the Charter granted May 4, 1629 under which 
the Colony of Massachusetts Bay was governed for %K 


years. He was chosen Lord High Constable at Salem, 
September 28, 1630, the only one holding that office, and 
was the iirst officer ever elected in America. He took his 
>ath as Freeman, May 18, 1631, at the time when the first 
Freemen were qualified. He was Deputy from 1635-1639, 

nd as such in 1636 when Captain Endicott, on behalf of 
Jolonel John Humphrey presented a motion to the General 

^ourt to set off some lands on the Marblehead side of 
forest River for the erection of a college, which was the 

)recursor of Harvard University, John Woodbury was 

hosen one of the committee of six appointed to view the 
.and. He was Rater (or assessor) of Salem 1639-1640, 
Treasurer of Salem 1640-1641, Selectman 1636 until his 
ieath in 1641. As one of the Council of the Governor, he 
was the Surveyor of the Colony and laid out the boundaries 
of the early towns, among them being the boundary between 
Lynn and Salem 13 March, 1638, and Abram Doolittle laid 
out the southern boundary at what is now the line between 
Saugus and Revere, many years later. From his selection 
for this service, it is believed that he must have been a 
master mariner, as it is not known that there were any of 
other vocations in the Colony skilled in angfles and their 

The name is spelled Wodeberie in the Domesday 
Book (1086) and has been recorded with fifty-two different 
methods of spelling. Knight's fees have been recorded 
for generations, and four coats of arms granted, the earliest 
being in 1325, and the crest in 1484, but the family were 
entirely of the Saxon yeomanry, without Norman blood or 
any of the titles of nobility. 
Children of John : 
i. Humphrey, (by first wife), b. Budleigh, Eng., 1609. Came 
to New England June 1628. Will proved 11 Oct. 16S6 ; m. 
Elizabeth : chosen Deacon 24 Dec. 1679. 


ii. John (called Senior) (by second wife) married Elizabeth . 

iii. JIaxnah, baptized 25 Dec. 1636; m. 25 April 1658. Cornelius 

Baker : d. 1 Sept. 1714. 
iv. Abigail, baptized 12 Nov. 1637; m. 12 Oct. 1657, John Hill. 
v. Peter, b. io^une 1640. (See forward.) 

Peter 2 Woodbury {John 1 ), b. 19 June 1640 at Salem, 
died 5 July 1704: married first, Sept. 1665, Abigail 

Batchelder, born 12 Feb. 1642: died 1666: 

married second, July 1667, Sarah Dodge, baptized 
1644: died 19 Sept. 1726: made Freeman 27 April 
1668 ; Selectman 1675-84 : Deacon 20 Aug. 1686 ; 
Lieutenant 1689 : Deputy 1689-92 : Assessor 1694. 
Slayes in inventory of estate. 
Children : 

i. Peter, b. 12 Dec. 1666. (See forward.) 

ii. Sarah, b. 12 Dec. 166S: m. Jonathan Raymond, b. 25 Apr. 


iii. Abigail, b. 13 Apr. 1671 ; m. — Lampson. 

iv. Anna, b. 24 May 1674; d. x 7^9; m. John Herrkk. 

v. Martha, baptized 27 May 1677; m. 31 Mar. 1693. Ichabod 

vi. Jerusha, baptized 8 Feb. 16S0: m. 28 Mar. 1698, George 

vii. JosiAH, b. 5 June 16S2 : d. 26 July 1746: m. 9 Apr. 170S. 

jLydia Herrick. On Louisburg Expedition, 
viii. Rebecca, b. 25 Dec 1684 ; d. before 1702 : m. Samuel Corning. 
ix. Prisctlla, b. 23 June 1687: m. 15 Jan. 1706, Richard Ober. 

Peter 3 Woodbury {Peter: 1 John 1 ), born 12 Dec. 
1666: died 8 Jan. 1706-07: married 15 Nov. 1692, 
Mary Dodge (widow), born 21 Apr. 1673: died 
20 Xov. 1763 : elected Deacon 26 Oct. 1704. Slaves 
mentioned in will. 
Children : 

i. Mark, b. 31 Oct. 1693; d. 17 Dec. 1693. 

ii. Abigail, b. 14 Sept. 1694 : m - 2 ^ I )ec - 1715. Jonathan Conan 1 . 

iii. Joseph, b. 29 Sept. 1696: d. 12 June 1720. 



iv. Benjamin, b 18 Apr. 1699; m. 14 Dec. 1721, Ruth Conant, 
b. 18 Nov. 1702. Was on Louisburg Expedition. 

v. Mary, b. 2 Aug. 1703; m (1) 13 May 1719, JosiahTrask ; m. 
(2) 21 June 1727, Thomas Cox. 

vi. Peter, b. 20 June 1705. (See forward.) 

vii. Rebecca, b. 1 June 1707; m. 172S, Josiah Lovell. 

viii. Marcy (or Mercy) was thirty-nine inches in height. 

4. Peter 4 Woodbury (Peter? Peter? John 1 ), born 20 
June 1705 ; died 14 May 1775 ; married 19 Mar. 
1730, Hannah Batchelder, born 1 May 1709 ; died 
21 Nov. 1788. In French and Indian War, Corporal 
in Col. Plaisted's regiment in Lake George campaign, 
and was wounded five times at storming of Quebec : 
Cavalry Sargeant at battle of Lexington where he 
met the cause of his death from exhaustion. 
Children : 



Peter, b. 13 Mar. 1732 ; d. 5 Dec. 1814. 

James, b. 4 June 1738; d. 5 Mar. 1823; m. 5 Nov. 1761, 
Hannah Traske. In French and Indian war. Wounded on 
plains of Abraham at storming of Quebec, also in Revolution. 

Joseph, b. 21 Sept. 174 1. (See forward.) 

John, b. 8 Nov. 1743 ; d. 3 Sept. 1813 ; m. 8 Mar. 1767 Hannah 
Raymond. Was Captain in the Revolution. 

Joseph 5 Woodbury (Peter? Peter? Peter? John 1 ), 
born 21 Sept. 1741 ; died 3 Feb. 1816 ; married first, 
6 May 1766, Huldah Putnam, born 1746, died 8 
June 1773 ; married second, 7 Mar. 1775, Abiel 

Porter, born 3 Jan. 1739-40, died *833 . Was 

Constable of Beverly 1775, an d on Committee of 
Safety. Was a soldier in the Revolution. 

Children : 

i. Nancy, m. Nathaniel Pierce. 

ii. Abiel, (by second wife) m. 6 Apr. 1799, Joshua Doikik. 
v. Joseph, b. 1 May 1778; d. May 1856; m. Lavinia Webber. 
v. John, b. 21 Sept. 1780. (See forward.) 


vi. Relief, b. 6 Aug. 1782; d. 5 Dec. 1874; m. 10 Mar. 1S11, 
Joseph Whittaker. 
vii. Porter, b. 13 May 1785; d. 9 Mar. 1866. (Unmarried.) 

6. John 6 Woodbury ( Joseph," Peter? Peter? Peter? 

John 1 ), born Stirling 21 Sept. 1780, died Boston 21 
Jan. 1876 ; married 14 Sept. 1802 Sarah Allen, 
born 16 Oct. 1781, died 6 May 1835. 

During war of 181 2 was engaged at Charlestown 
Navy Yard in converting merchantmen into letters of 
marque. Was originator of present method of fram- 
ing wood buildings known as the "'square rule." 

Children : 

i. John, b. 9 Jan. 1803. (See forward.) 
ii. Sarah, b. 18 Apr. 1804 ; d. 20 Sept. 1805. 

iii. Isaac Allen, b. 7 Sept. 1806; d. 6 June 1838: m. Julia Ann- 
Walker, b. 17 Apr. 1810. 
iv. Jeptha Porter, b. 27 Sept. 1808; d. 12 Aug. 1894; m. 26 

Mar. 1834, Mary Adams Hill, b. 21 Apr. 1812 : d. 16 Mar. 

v. Sarah Allen, b. 8. July 181 1; d. 12 Mar. 1871 ; m. (1) 1 June 

1836, Charles H. Wiggins; d. 16 Dec. 1838: (2) 15 Dec. 

1844, Timothy Alley, 3rd; b. 30 Apr. 1793: d. 23 Mar. 

1858; (3) 20 Nov. 1864, George W. Davis ; d. 12 Mar. 1871. 
vi. Seth Dodge, b. 8 Nov. 1813; d. 13 Apr. 1892: m. 25 Oct. 

1835, Hannah D. Galloupe, b. 10 Oct. 1815 : d. 12 July 1903. 
vii. Joseph Page, b. 29 Mar. 1S16; d. 25 Apr. 1875; m. '1)31 

May 1836, Susan Wyman Worthen, b. 1 Nov. 1816: d. 15 

Dec. 1842; m. (2) 20 Mar. 1843, Harriet Elizabeth 

Bury MoronG, b. 10 Feb. 1818; d. 21 April 1880. 
viii. Augustus Lee, b. 18 June 1818; d. 5 Oct. 181S. 
ix. James Atkins, b. 1 Sept. 1S19; d. 3 Dec. 1904: m. 21 Apr. 

1843, Nancy Dimmock Small, b. 20 Dec. 1823: d. 26 Apr. 

x. Angeline Elizabeth, b. 15 May 1822; m. 17 Aug. 1842, 

Andrew Mack Haines, b. 1 Jan. 1820: d. 10 Nov. 189S. 
xi. Lorete Relief, b. 8 Sept. 1S24; d. Feb. 1844. 

7. John" Woodbury, Rev. {John? Joseph? Peter? 

Peter? Peter? John 1 ), born 9 Jan. 1803, died 27 


Aug. 1858: married 1826 Myra Page, born 11 
Mar. 1804, died 29 Mar. 1888. A Baptist clergyman. 

Children : 
i. John Page Woodbury, b. 24 May 1827. (See forward.) 
ii. Maria Josephine, b. 31 July 1835; d. 25 Jan. 1908; m. 30 
Sept. 1852, Matthew Plumstead, b. 11 Nov. 1S27: d. 13 

8. John Page b Woodbury /tfjohn,' John? Joseph? 
Peter? Peter? Peter? John 1 ), born 24 May 1827, 
died 17 June 1910; married 22 Sept. 1850, Sarah 
Elizabeth Silsbee, born 22 Sept. 1828 ; died 1 Jan. 

Children : 
i. Marcia Eola. 
ii. John.